The original Lip Venom ($16) by DuWop is a love it or hate it product. Some people swear that its blend of cinnamon, ginger and wintergreen essential oils works like gangbusters to get a plumped pout. Others find the stinging on application to be too much to handle. Personally, I'm in the latter crowd, which is why I had high hopes that Prime Venom ($20) would be more to my liking. Prime Venom is kind of like Lip Venom's kinder, gentler cousin. It is a priming lip balm infused with the regular Lip Venom mix along with moisturizing agents like macadamia nut oil.
I purchased Prime Venom about a year ago, used it a few times and then tossed it aside. At the time, I didn't think much of the plumping action and it just didn't seem to do much. However, a few weeks ago, I had another go at it. It isn't clear what changed between my first assessment and now, but suddenly I really like this stuff! This may be due to some a new process whereby I put it on first thing in the morning after brushing my teeth. Then, I get dressed and do the rest of my morning routine. About 10-15 minutes later, when I get around to putting on lipstick or gloss, I check out my lips to see if there is any noticeable change. And, in fact, there is! It's not like I suddenly look like Angelina or anything, but my thin lips definitely look plumper and more prominent (but not in a freaky or unnatural way). My past dissatisfaction may have been due to not giving it enough time to work. But, given some time, Prime Venom plumps quite well.
And with regard to the unpleasant tingling sensation, well, it definitely does have a tingle. It is no where near as powerful as Lip Venom straight up, but it is there, and probably unavoidable if one is entering the realm of lip plumping via use of mild irritants. As far as Prime Venom acting as a good general lip primer, filling in fine lines and providing a smooth base for lip color, I think it does a fair job at that as well. It does disappoint some in the moisturizing category and may actually be a little drying. But, two out of three isn't bad.
One last complaint is about the price, which is a bit ridiculous for the quantity you get in the little tube. But if one is yearning for that perfectly perky pout, then shelling out the cash might be worth it. Give Prime Venom a go if you are someone who is looking for a little plumping assistance and are willing to put up with some tingle to that end.